Chinese New Year has passed but it’s never too late to reflect on the most memorable meal I had so far in 2017. I can’t believe it took me this long to reflect the kind of feasts I have during family gatherings.
The Lunar New Year is a huge deal at my parent’s household. This year, I had a chance to be the sous-chef and help my parents out with the prep work. They were able to pull off almost 20 dishes during the 2 days of feasting. There were only 8 adults but we had enough to feed a part of 50! I will also mention a few fabulous dishes that my in-laws had made. Not only was every dish phenomenal, many of the dishes had symbolic meanings.
Mary’s Happy Belly ‘s Chinese New Year Feast 2017 included:
SOUPS AND STEWS
Black moss with oysters is is a typical Chinese New Year dish. In Cantonese, the moss is called “fat choy”, which symbolizes good fortune and good luck. The moss and oysters can be added to a soup, or eaten like a stew. The bottom right is a pork and lotus root soup.
One of my favourite dishes during the feast was the tender abalone, with sea cucumber and snow pea shoots. The abalone looked like a gold ingot and represented wealth.
From left to right: Roasted pork, white cut chicken, steamed pork and water chestnut balls with goji berries, and fried curry wings.
The sweet and sour pork hock dish blew my mind as the meat was tender and the taste was appetizing. I lost count on how many I ate.
Braised duck with veggies.
This braised pork belly dish with preserved lemon is a recipe passed down from my grandmother. This dish goes well with Jasmine rice or congee.
Our family also loves seafood! From left to right: Noodles with seafood, abalone stew, and a stir fry with squid and Chinese leek.
Fish is a popular dish during Chinese New Year as well. The stuffed fished that my in-laws make is incredible where the fish is deboned and the flesh is carefully removed. A mixture of fish, pork and other ingredients are stuffed back into the fish skin. My father-in-law used to be a chef, and this dish shows his strong skills in the kitchen.
This gorgeous veggie dish with bean curd, lotus roots, carrots, nappa cabbage, and wood-ear mushrooms was simple and tasty.
The snow pea shoots were cooked in garlic and chicken stock.
NOODLES AND STICKY RICE
We had noodles (picture posted in the seafood section), Jasmine long grain rice and sticky rice as part of the meal.
Representing “unity”, my parents made tangyuan (gluttonous rice balls) filled with black sesame, cooked in a sweet gingery soup.
I am thankful to be part of a food loving family, with delicious eats and amazing cooks. A big shout out to my mom, who is my biggest influence in the kitchen. I look forward to the next family celebration!
What did you eat during the Lunar New Year? What are your family traditions? Follow me on social media and let’s chat.